Production notes and trivia from my experiences on comic books, fiction, and games including
Star Wars: A New DawnStar Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star TrekMass Effect Overdraft Iron Man & more!

Order the Star Trek Prey trilogy here!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My secret Star Wars mission (and no Bothans died in the process!)

I like to keep my characters in motion as a writer -- but sometimes, the writers are the ones in motion. So it was in March, while I was finishing Star Wars: A New Dawn, my new novel for Random House. (Read more about it here.) The publisher asked me to make a fast trip out to Lucasfilm in California, to be part of their Expanded Universe appreciation video.

It was definitely something I wanted to do, but the complication was that I was already scheduled, after finishing the novel, to throw everything in the car to run down to Memphis, where I had a public library event and a full slate of panels at Midsouthcon. This situation involved more than a simple suitcase! It took some juggling, but we worked it out so I would fly to San Francisco first, then to Memphis. We shipped my supplies one direction, while I went another. I flew out in a howling Midwestern snowstorm: a few hours later, I was walking Union Square. One guess which had the better weather!

The day of the shoot, Timothy Zahn was already in the car when the driver picked me up. In pure fan mode, I promptly got him to autograph my copy of Heir to the Empire -- which still has its first-week-of-sale discount wraparound banner around it, and appears in the video. Tim said back then they weren't entirely sure how well the book would do, after such a long absence for Star Wars fiction: the wraparounds came off pretty quickly after a few days of sales.

Tim had never been to Lucasfilm before, but I had visited once in the summer of 2007, to read the script for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in advance of writing the comics adaptation. So I thought I knew my way around when we were dropped off at the complex. In fact, I promptly got us lost for half an hour, before Jennifer Heddle, Leland Chee, and Pablo Hidalgo rescued us.

I must invoke a different franchise in admitting "I'm a writer, not a guide!"

We had lunch with the team, shot our videos, and got the grand tour. I had seen some things before but it is always amazing: because of Lucasfilm's collection with ILM, there are artifacts commemorating dozens of films. Jennifer took a picture of us outside with the Yoda statue. (And believe me, I was looking for that statue in trying to find the place!) It was a great trip.

And then it was on to my regularly scheduled events. I couldn't say anything about where I'd just been, of course; I managed to make it through seven panels and multiple signings without collapsing. I was delighted to have been a part of it. My thanks to Random House and Lucasfilm for making it happen!

Stay updated on all my latest projects! You can follow me on Twitter at @jjmfaraway, on Facebook, and you can also sign up for my newsletter.

My new novel: STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN rises at Random House!
The news is out! I can at last share the project I've been working on this fall and winter: STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN is my new hardcover adult novel release, set for release this September from Random House/Del Rey!

The novel (my first Star Wars work since Kenobi) is set several years after Star Wars: Episode III -- and several years before the upcoming animated television series Star Wars: Rebels. As you can see from the cover, two of the main characters of that series, Kanan and Hera, have major roles in the book. This is the first novel integrating input from the Lucasfilm Story Group, which manages story concepts across all media, and so in addition to working with Random House's team I both got inspiration and feedback from the series' executive producers, Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Greg Weisman, as well as Pablo Hidalgo, Jennifer Heddle, and Leland Chee.

A New Dawn is a rollicking adventure set in the darkest days of the galaxy, when even the thought of organized resistance to the Empire seems an impossible fantasy. But as our characters find, one doesn't always get to decide when the best time is to act. And set as it is during the Imperial period, A New Dawn gave me the opportunity to explore a variety of topics, including how the Empire manages to grow so quickly, injecting itself into all spheres of individual life. I really enjoyed writing it! And I love finally getting to work with Doug Wheatley, who did the cover!

As part of all this, Lucasfilm has an announcement about the future of the Expanded Universe—as well as a video piece about the EU past, present, and future. Lucasfilm and Random House secretly flew me and Timothy Zahn out to film it: more about that trip here.

Star Wars: A New Dawn will be available on September 2. The preorder pages are already live at several sites:
Barnes & Noble:

If you're new to my writing, please take a look around the site. I have behind-the-scenes pages on all the works I've done (spoilers, beware!), for comics, games, and prose.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter at @jjmfaraway, on Facebook, and you can also sign up for my newsletter. May the Force be with you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Double release day! Star Wars KOTOR Omnibus Vol. 3 and new Insider

Double release day — and in fact, double Star Wars release day!
First off, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Omnibus Vol. 3 hits stores today. The circle is now complete, as someone said: this edition includes KOTOR issues #38 through #50 and all of the War miniseries. (You can read my behind-the-scenes pages on the individual issues starting here.) It features art by Brian Ching, Dean Zachary, Andrea Mutti, Pierluigi Baldassini, Ron Chan, and more, with colors by Michael Atiyeh, letters by Michael Heisler, and edits by David Marshall and Freddye Lins.

This wraps up the KOTOR series from Dark Horse in three nice volumes; all will have been reprinted except for the KOTOR Handbook and the letters-page "holocrons" from the second year. It is also the last volume of my Star Wars material to come from Dark Horse: Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith came out too recently to be collected before Dark Horse passes the publishing reins to Marvel at the end of the year. (But the graphic novels for those series are still available.)

The Omnibus will be available also as a signed edition from me (as soon as I get them): check out my shop page. I should also have some at ComicFest in Denver the weekend of May 2. (I will be there all three days, and will have several panels on Sunday.)

Next, move over to the magazine aisle where you'll find Star Wars Insider #149, where I have the "Red Five" column this month, discussing favorite characters from the Expanded Universe. It's a fun one.

That's what I have for you today — though, as always, follow my Twitter for news as it's announced, or sign up for my newsletter using that box over there to the left. It's been another very busy work-month — and the home repair guys are outside pounding on the roof, making repairs after the rough winter. I'd better get back to writing, to pay for all this...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 Scribe Award Nominee list announced -- fortified with Kenobi!

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers has named its nominees for the 2014 Scribe Awards, and I am pleased to report that Star Wars: Kenobi has been nominated in the category for best original novel set in a speculative tie-in universe. It's a great list of books and short stories by a wonderful slate of authors, and it's an honor to be included.

The 2014 Scribe Nominees (thanks to fellow nominee Dayton Ward for the full list):

Novel Adapted
47 Ronin by Joan D. Vinge
Man of Steel by Greg Cox
Pacific Rim
by Alex Irvine

General Novel Original
The Executioner: Sleeping Dragons by Michael A. Black
Leverage: The Bestseller Job by Greg Cox
Leverage: The Zoo Job by Keith R. A. DeCandido
Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad
Murder She Wrote: Close-Up on Murder by Donald Bain
Speculative Novel Original
Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox by Christa Faust
Star Trek: From History’s Shadow
by Dayton Ward
Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller
Supernatural: Fresh Meat by Alice Henderson
Supernatural: The Roads not Taken by Tim Waggoner

Short Stories
“The Dark Hollows of Memory” by David Annandale
“Locks and Keys” by Jennifer Brozek
“Mirror Image” by Christine M. Thompson
“Redemption” by Robert Greenberger
“Savior” by Michael Jan Friedman
“So Long, Chief” by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane
Young Adult
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 by Stacia Deutsch
The Croods by Tracey West
Kevin by Paul Kupperberg

Blake’s 7: The Armageddon Storm by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright
Dark Shadows – 33. The Phantom Bride by Mark Thomas Passmore
Dark Shadows – 37. The Flip Side by Cody Quijano-Schell

This is my second nomination, following Star Wars: Knight Errant a couple of years ago—and it is, again, an honor to be included. The presentation is at Comic-Con International: San Diego this summer. Congrats to all the nominees!

In other news — did I just go the whole month of March with no blog posts? Yes, I did — although during the time since my last posting I worked by tail off on projects yet to be announced, ran down to Memphis for an event at the Hernando Public Library and Midsouthcon for a big slate of panels, and then this past weekend attended the anniversary celebration at Galaxy Comics, Games, and More in Wisconsin. Check out my Facebook and Twitter feeds for photos — and for news of what I have coming up, once it can be reported. I also hope to have notes up on Star Trek: Titan - Absent Enemies before too long.

In the meantime, back to work!
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